Monday, May 12, 2014

Dr. Henry Brubaker and Emeline Philson Brubaker

Dr. Henry Brubaker
Emeline Philson Brubaker
Dr. Henry Brubaker
born: 31 March, 1827 in Berlin, Somerset County, PA
died: 12 Nov. 1889 in Berlin, Somerset County, PA
buried: Union Cemetery, Somerset, PA
father: John Brubaker, Jr. (1779-1853)

mother:  Sarah “Sally” Faust (1786-1898)
wife: Emeline Philson (1830-1898), married 1851
children: Albert Philson (1852-1943), Ellen "Ella" Crigler (1854-1949), Sarah Emma (1856-), Darlie (1859-), William (1860-), Clara Butler (1864-1911), Edwin Schall (1864-1930), Annie Laurie "Nannie" (1867-1946) 
1845 - attended Allegheny College, Meadville, PA (my alma mater!)
1851 - earned his medical degree at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, PA

Emeline Philson
born: 6 March 1830 in Berlin, Somerset County, PA
died: 26 February 1898
buried: Union Cemetery, Somerset, PA
father: Alexander Hays Philson (1801-1873)
mother: Eleanor Crigler (1801-1873)
husband: Dr. Henry Brubaker (1827-1889)
children: Albert Philson (1852-1943), Ellen "Ella" Crigler (1854-1949), Sarah Emma (1856-), Darlie (1859-), William (1860-), Clara Butler (1862-), Edwin Schall (1864-1930), Annie Laurie "Nannie" (1867-1946)

My paternal great-great grandparents, Henry Brubaker and Emeline Philson Brubaker, were both born in Berlin, Somerset County, Pennsylvania. They had five daughters and three sons; I am related through their youngest son, Edwin Schall. I have found a few references to Henry and Emeline in historical accounts:

The following is an excerpt Under the Spreading Chestnut Tree by Lois Norris Graybill (pages 6-7; published August 16, 2006):
“John Brubaker, Sr. came from Lancaster County and settled near Berlin, Somerset county prior to 1791. He had sons John Jr., Benjamin, Peter, Jacob, Daniel and Joseph, who all lived in Somerset County. John Jr. was an officer in the War of 1812 and also served the county as a commissioner. His oldest son was Dr. Henry Brubaker of Somerset.”
This is an excerpt from The History of Bedford, Somerset and Fulton Counties, Pennsylvania (p. 431, published in 1884 by Waterman, Watkins & Co):
“Henry Brubaker, the youngest child of Maj. John Brubaker, of Berlin, was born in Berlin, March 31, 1827. He was educated by private tutors, and at Allegheny College, Meadville, PA. In 1848 he began the study of medicine under Dr. J.H. Reidt, of Berlin. Subsequently he attended the Jefferson Medical College, and on March 8, 1851, received his degree of M.D. from that institution. He first began to practice in New Lexington, where he remained about eighteen months. Then he located in Berlin for a brief period, or until 1856, when he settled in the town which has since been his home – Somerset, PA. Here he has enjoyed an extensive – and we may add, a lucrative – practice for nearly thirty years. Though various other medical practitioners have located in Somerset at different times, Dr. Kimmel and himself have chiefly been relied upon during the long period mentioned. The degree of A.M. was conferred upon him by Allegheny College in 1879. Dr. Brubaker married Miss Emeline Philson, of Berlin. They have two sons and four daughters. Dr. Albert Philson Brubaker, their eldest child is mentioned in another entry.”
This is a transcript of a dedication made to Dr. Albert Philson (Henry’s son) by the Class of 1916 of Jefferson Medical College:
 “Professor Albert Philson Brubaker was born August 12, 1852 at Somerset, PA.  He received his early education at the Somerset Academy, and began his medical career in the office of his illustrious father, Dr. Henry Brubaker, who was widely known throughout Western Pennsylvania, not alone on account of his success as a general practitioner, but on account of his scientific attainments and his devotion to the profession of medicine.  He held the medical leadership due to his technical skill, intelligence, integrity, and liberal supply of common sense.
“Dr. Henry Brubaker was of Swiss extraction.  He was born in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, in 1827; educated by private tutors, at Allegheny College; and in 1851 was given his medical degree and diploma by Jefferson Medical College.  Immediately following his graduation he returned to his native country and started on a career that quickly placed him in the front ranks of the practitioners of the day. Dr. Henry Brubaker was a scholarly gentleman and an untiring student of until the day of his untimely death at age sixty-two.  He was a helpful man, a Christian man, and in Somerset and surrounding counties his memory will be forever cherished as one who was a beloved leader among men.
In the history of Pennsylvania, one incident in the professional life of Dr. Henry Brubaker that should inspire all medical men of today, especially those who are standing at the beginning of their careers, will serve to illustrate his lofty sense of professional ethics and his wide humanity –
“‘A workman in a railroad camp near Somerset was taken down with a virulent attack of small pox. The neighborhood soon became panic stricken, fearing that dread malady might become epidemic. No one save Dr. Brubaker dared enter the house in which death lurked; but he did, and as often as three or four times a day, until death made his visits and ministrations no longer necessary. Then in the teeth of a wild mountain storm, with the mercury twenty degrees below zero, he fashioned a rude casket, placed the body of the dead man in it, and, lowering it into the grave he dug with his own hands, offered a prayer for the repose of the victim’s soul.’  An incident that shows the very spirit of the man and reveals his heart of hearts!
“Dr. Henry Brubaker was a man full in learning, ripe in knowledge, rich in experience; of sympathetic temperament, liberal in spirit, and just in act. Thus a rare parental legacy was given to his eldest son, Albert Philson Brubaker, who, as a member of the Class of 1874 of Jefferson Medical College, graduated with honor and distinction.”
Henry is listed in the U.S. Civil War Draft Registration Records 1863-1865 of the National Archives and Records Administration. The record is dated June 1863, He is listed as being 36 years old, and a physician, born in Pennsylvania. I have been unable to ascertain if he actually served in the war, either as a soldier or as a physician. 

A distant Crigler cousin sent me this information, which she found in an old U.S. Congressional Record, in August 2015: 
Reports of Committees: 30th Congress, 1st Session - 48th Congress, Vol. 3

“Evidence in the case of Joseph Showman, claimant to an Invalid Pension for his Civil War Service. He served in Co. C, 84th Reg. Pennsylvania Volunteers, from Aug 1862 - Dec 1862, discharged by a surgeon’s certificate of disability. His injury occurred at Camp Curtin, Harrisonburg PA.

“Jonathan Shawly and Henry Nedrow say that the claimant was not treated by the regimental surgeon, but was taken to the hospital immediately after being hurt.

“Dr Henry Brubaker testifies that he had the claimant under treatment after December 1862, until September 1864, for pulmonary hemorrhage….”

There is nothing in the record that says what the hospital was, whether military or civil, but it must have been in the Harrisonburg area.

When I was studying at Allegheny College in the 1980s, I came across Henry’s name in a list of students from the 1840s, and was totally shocked; no one in my family knew that he had gone there! I have in my possession the portraits of Henry and Emeline in this post, as well as this endearing acrostic Henry wrote to Emeline:

This photo shows Emeline with three daughters, possibly Ella (b. 1854), Sarah (b. 1856), and Darlie (b. 1859):

Emeline was the grand-daughter or Robert Philson, a famous rebel in the Whiskey Rebellion of 1794. She died at age 67. Here is her obituary:

Henry died at age 62. Here is his obituary, which is in my possession:

Here is a transcription:He Giveth His Beloved Sleep’

Henry Brubaker, M.D., the well-known physicain and eminent citizen, died at his residence in Somerset on Tuesday evening last. He was the youngest child of Major John Brubaker, and was born in Berlin, March 31, 1827. He was educated by private tutors and at Allegheny College, Meadville, Pa. In 1848 he began the study of medicine under Dr. J.H. Reidt, of Berlin, and subsequently he attended the Jefferson Medcial College, at Philadelphia, and on March 8, 1851, received his degree of M.D. from that institution. He first began to practice in New Lexington, where he remained about 18 months. Then he located in Berlin for a brief period, or until 1856, when he removed to Somerset.

For more than thirty years Dr. Brubaker has been prominent in Somerset County and his fame has far outgrown its limits. In abilty and attainments he towered high above his local contemporaries, while his counsel and advice was eagerly sought by them. The Doctor's ambition was limited, insofar as he declined tempting offers of pecuniary gain and broader fields for the exercise of his skill. He repeatedly remarked to his friends, who recognizing his pre-eminent ability, wondered that he should confine himself to the sphere of a "country Doctor:" "I love the people of Somerset. For thirty years I have shared their joys and sorrows, and among them I want to die. Not, however, after I have become incapacitated by some bodily or mental affliction, but when in the midst of practice and in the full enjoyment of all my faculties will I welcome the end." 

How happy in his death. How true to his calling that entailed countless hardships and vicissitudes.

The Doctor was as fearless of disease as he was of death itself, and was always ready when duty called. Who among the people of this neighborhood can ever forget the unselfish heroism he displayed a few years [type broken up here]… a poor, miserable family residing a short distance north of town, was stricken with small-pox. The whole country side was thrown in to a paroxysm of terror at the mere thought of that loathsome pestilence breaking out in their midst, and all feared to venture near the dreaded spot. Not so with the brave physican who attended to their wants with untiring devotion, not only alleviating the pains of the body but furnishing them with subsistence, and when death finally came to their relief, with christian fortitude and with his own hands prepared the bodies for burial, made the rough boxes in which they were encased, dug the graves, and after tenderly laying the diseased bodies to rest, with uncovered head in the bleak winter air said a prayer for the repose of their souls before covering them over with earth and erecting a rude slab to mark their last resting place. All this was done without the hope of remuneration other than a satisfied consciousness of duty performed.

Dr. Brubaker loved his profession with a devotion that challenges comparison. No thought of gain ever penetrated his mind, but how to relieve pain and eradicate disease was always predominant. For this last purpose he surrounded himself with a vast library filled with the best and loftiest thoughts of the master minds in his profession, and every moment that could be spared from his practice was occupied in storing his trained memory with the approved modes of treatment as science suggested them. He was a frequent contributor to the leading medical journals of the country and his articles were widely read and discussed by the profession.

Outside of his profession Dr. Brubaker was unquestionably the most cultured man in the country. His tastes were entirely literary and scientific, and the extent of his research and reading was without bounds. His library comprising hundreds of carefully selected volumes was the joy of his life.

A practice of more than thirty years had brought him into contact with almost every family in the community and none knew him but to love. He was truly the "good physician" whose very presence was as a … [newspaper torn and text missing here] for the sickroom and directed that he should be buried "according to the rites and ceremonies of the Methodist Episcopal Church," saying "I have full faith and belief in her teachings, and implicit confidence in the Christian religion, in the immortality of the soul, and in the life everlasting." This declaration, more than any other, sheds glory on his character. All else death destroys.… [The remainder of the obituary, which is very lengthy, is about Christianity in general, and does not mention Henry or other family members.]

Henry and Emeline are buried together in Union Cemetery in Somerset, Pennsylvania.